RAID 0 data recovery can be a difficult process and depends on a few key prerequisites. However, it can be done manually or with the help of recovery software in most cases, as long as the hardware of the member disks involved is intact or repairable.
1. Before RAID 0 data recovery, you need to know what you are going to deal with and how it works
As the name “0” indicates, RAID 0 to me is not a RIAD configuration. Instead of improving redundancy, using raid 0 data recovery will increase the risk of data loss.
Because, although the data is written alternately in blocks and simultaneously on all disks, resulting in a very impressive I / O performance improvement, RAID 0 is strip only, no mirroring, and no data parity.
Only small files that fit on a single strip can be recovered if one or some of the drives in the array fail, are damaged, or are missing.
If you are using RAID 0 for media work or something else to get the highest read and write storage speed, you need to worry.
2. Failure analysis: the cause of RAID data loss
The first step in recovering data from RAID 0 Array disks is to identify which of the two types of errors caused the failure: hardware damage to individual RAID 0 disks, or a problem not related to the disks themselves.
Member disk failure
If the failure originates from the member disks, such as:
- Flashing red hard drive
- Hard drive not detected
- Bad sector or head drop on hard drive
Data can only be recovered if the disk can be repaired.
The information in a RAID 0 array is not redundant, so if a disk is irreparable, you cannot recover the data. There is a small chance that files smaller than (N-1) * (block size) can be recovered if the remaining disks are not damaged, but even this is not a guarantee. Generally speaking, the data on a damaged member disk is unrecoverable.
That’s why people would say, “The difference between RAID 0 and RAID 1 is 0, that’s the amount of data you will get if one of the drives fails.”
System error causing data loss
However, if the problem is due to:
- Disc in the wrong order
- Control software malfunction
- Controller faults
- Incorrect user operation
There are several ways to recover data, as only the metadata (the data that describes the subject’s data) has been lost.
3. RAID 0 data recovery in two ways
# 1 Free RAID 0 Data Recovery – Manual Array Rebuild
If you plan to recover the data manually, you will need to be able to determine and rebuild the array configuration and have a proper understanding of the disk edition.
However, before you begin, you need to find out which array configuration was used for the data. Such configurations for RAID 0 arrays can include:
- Number of member disks in the array
- The order of the discs from first to last
The size of the data blocks.
Begin displacement on the member discs.
Steps to recover RAID 0 data by manually rebuilding the array:
Step 1 Determine the disk order
Using whatever disc viewing tool you are comfortable with, search members’ discs for long text files, particularly those with timestamps or other similar chronological indicators. Log files are ideal for the task, but others can be used when trying to determine the order in which the member disks of an array were destined. Whenever you find part of a file with such information on a member disk, use it to figure out which disk has the next fragment of the same file type. You won’t be able to find which disc was first this way, but you can at least figure out the order of the disc.
Step 2 Find the first disk
Fortunately, the first disk in the array is easier to determine than the rest of the order. Just use your disk viewing tool and search the disks for an MBR (Master Boot Record) if you have a hardware RAID 0 (the one containing the MBR will be the first in the array). If you are trying to recover data from software RAID 0, look for the boot sector at the beginning of each member disk.
Step 3 Discern block / streak size
Again, the method you use will be based on whether the matrix is hardware or software. For a hardware array, it may be helpful to check the corresponding manual to find what block size is even usable on your RAID 0. You can also try to calculate the block size just by checking the possible values, but this may take longer than necessary. For a software array, use any standard value that pertains to your operating system (that is, 128 sector blocks for Windows).
Step 4 Determine Start Offset on Member Disks
This is simple for hardware RAID arrays. Data generally begins at the beginning of the hard drive, and therefore with an offset of zero. In the software matrices, locate the boot sector of the volume to find the initial offset of the volume. Once you’ve done that for a member disk, you will know the initial offset for the remaining disks, as they are identical.
The above method is a bit tricky and not for everyone.For those who don’t have the time, patience, or knowledge for a manual recovery, there are software recovery options.